Release Date: 1st March 2013
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers Australia
Author: Claudia Gray
Source: Purchased at Kmart
Purchase Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US
When Nadia's family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.
Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.
Spellcaster is a paranormal YA - the first in a trilogy by Claudia Gray (pseudonym). Like the last book, I chose this book based on the cover and the blurb, which caught me on the promise of a star-crossed romance.
Nadia, her father and brother move to Captive's Sound to start fresh after her mother left them. Nadia is descendant from witches, and as the rule goes, the mother teaches the daughter how to develop her magic and no man born of a woman can ever know the truth about witches. Well with her mum out of the picture, her magic may be strong, but not developed enough to take on something bigger, which is a problem considering something is brewing in the new town.
Something unique about the way Claudia reinvented witches is through spells. Instead of mixing potions, spells are done through memories, thoughts and emotions while touching pendants on jewellery. One example is when she did a spell to part water. She thought "The love of a child. A living thing rising from the earth. Hope through grief" as she touched her pendant. However this didn't work on its own, she then had to think about old memories - her brother taking his first step, spring and their move. It was a bit of a risk for Claudia to do this, but kudos for trying something new. The downside to this is it got a bit annoying for me and I found myself skipping past her memories.
The entire town seems to be ridden with magic, secrets, curses, mysterious deaths and strange behaviour. It is Nadia's mission to find out what is causing everything and to be an end to it, to save her family, new friends, the town and new love interest.
In terms of the characters, they are a bit weak, but I put it down to the curses and I have a feeling they will build up in the next book. There isn't as much drama as I expected, which is refreshing.
Down to the reason I chose this book - the promise of a star-crossed romance between Nadia and Mateo. Sadly I was disappointed in the lack of any romance. It was the equivalent to two children holding hands in a playground - a lack of passion and no connection. I finished the book wondering if the main characters wanted to be together at all. Claudia writes as though they were in love and meant to be, but based on the events in the story, nothing happens beyond a glance or two.
Simple and magical cover with a great choice of fonts and colours. The cover doesn't give anything from the story away, except that it's about a girl.
This book was good, however I found that it dragged on a bit and I was just waiting for things to happen. It has some interesting bits and I think the overall story is strong, but the build up is so slow that it took me several attempts to read it. There is a cliff hanger which is expected, and I liked most of the characters, but it just didn't have a wow factor for me.
The story continues with Steadfast which will be out in March this year.